There used to be a saying that “the customer is always right,” which may be flawed when you view it as a blanket statement, but in terms of mind-set, it’s the only way to run a business. It shows a passion for customer satisfaction, and when customers are happy, businesses always have a chance to thrive.

“You’re going to hear me mention customers a lot,” says Steve Rowe, CEO of Marks & Spencer. “And for that, I will never apologise.” That’s how the brain behind M&S has been known to address a room, and all CEO’s should be just like that, shouldn’t they?

Indeed they should, so how has a recent survey run by the Express found that 93% of British shoppers feel “frequently wound up” by the shopper experience?

It seems that shoppers don’t only experience poor customer service, but that they do so repeatedly, citing pushy sales tactics and a disconnect between shoppers and retail staff as their main frustrations.

All of this puts a great responsibility on call centres, with customers filling the lines to register complaints. However, with poorly conceived telephony journeys, and incoming calls being outsourced to external call centres, many customer’s moods only seem to get worse once they pick up the phone.

Rather alarmingly, the Express’ survey states that 60% of customers are considering moving companies due to bad service, and that 10% of callers admit to being brought to tears due to the way they are handled.

These statistics make for terrible reading, and how ironic that this dip in customer service is happening during the “golden age” of social media, when people are supposed to have been brought closer together. Perhaps it’s the case that many companies are now so obsessed with becoming “omni-channel” brands that they accidentally spread themselves too thin.

Most customers – particularly when there’s a problem – prefer to communicate over the phone, so a company’s telephone journey is worth its weight in gold and can drastically increase the number of happy shoppers once implemented.